While most communities try to find ways to bring more traffic through their business district, New Cumberland is discussing the possibility of diverting at least some of what it is experiencing. In this case, we think it will be a good idea.
Concerns about the increasing number of oil and gas trucks driving through New Cumberland's streets, the higher amount of road degradation and concerns over pedestrian safety have spurred discussion of creating a bypass for the city.
Of particular concern is the area of Ridge Avenue and Station Hill, which provides comparatively narrow driving lanes and tight turns and already has experienced varying amounts of damage requiring traffic detours and expensive repairs.
At one point, in fact, a temporary bypass was created for the city after Station Hill was closed because of problems with the roadway and hillside.
Add to that some of the recent growth in New Cumberland's downtown, and this discussion needs to take place sooner rather than later. New businesses have begun moving into the community's downtown, and with them a greater number of pedestrians.
There have been some close calls in the past, and the New Cumberland community doesn't need to have any more.
The larger volume of traffic is going to be around for a long time, which means there is no time to waste. We thank New Cumberland Council for bringing this issue back into the forefront, and hope that it leads somewhere this time.
We also urge officials with the state Department of Transportation to be involved in these discussions since the roadways in question are part of state Route 2.
Mayor Linda McNeil also has brought up looking for cooperation from some local industries and utility companies which often make their way through New Cumberland. This type of project won't take place overnight. In fact, we would be surprised if it is able to move forward in the next year.
The point is, it needs to happen, and we urge all parties with any kind of interest to come together now.